Princeton Food Recycling Program Receives Sustainable Jersey Grant

Princeton has been awarded a $20,000 Sustainable Jersey grant to support the curbside food to compost program that was launched last year. The grant will support a campaign, spearheaded by Sustainable Princeton, to expand the town’s award-winning program.

The curbside food recycling  program, which was piloted by the Princeton Township Public Works Department, provides participating households with food waste bins that are picked up weekly.  Residents fill the bins with food and organic waste, including everything from fish bones to pizza boxes, kitchen trimmings and plate waste. The waste is trucked to a compost facility in Delaware, where it is turned into nutrient rich soil.

The program save money for the town due to increased recycling rates and lower trash dumping fees while  turning the waste into a usable product.

“We believe the program is a model that can be replicated by towns across New Jersey,” said Matthew Wasserman, Chair of Sustainable Princeton. “Not only does curbside compost make financial sense for a community, but it keeps organic waste out of New Jersey’s overburdened landfills and turns it into nutrient rich soil,”

Currently, 460 Princeton households participate in the program, a small portion of the 9,500 housing units in the two Princetons.  Through the grant, Sustainable Princeton aims to increase participation in the curbside organic program to 1,500 or more households over an 18-month period.

The 2012 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program is funded by the PSEG Foundation is providing a total of $200,000 in grants to local governments for sustainability projects.